Viewable With ANY Browser

Note: My Web pages are best viewed with style sheets enabled.

Unrated

My Garden Diary

July and August 2017

Copyright © 2017 by David E. Ross

Many years ago, when I first started my Web site, I created an online diary of my gardening activities and observations. However, with work and the commute from Hell, I was often so tired I had to choose between maintaining my garden and maintaining my diary. Sometimes, I did neither. In 1998, I stopped my diary and removed the pages from my Web site.

Now I am retired. I am well-rested and have plenty of time to both garden and maintain a diary. This diary is primarily for my own benefit, so that I can look back upon what I did and when. But I thought others might also be interested, so here it is.

Also see What's Blooming in My Garden Now?


January-February 2013
March-April 2013
May-June 2013
July-August 2013
September-October 2013
November-December 2013
January-February 2014
March-April 2014
May-June 2014
July-August 2014
September-October 2014
November-December 2014
January-February 2015
March-April 2015
May-June 2015
July-August 2015
September-October 2015
November-December 2015
January-February 2016
March-April 2016
May-June 2016
July-August 2016
September-October 2016
November-December 2016
January-February 2017
March-April 2017
May-June 2017

Diary entries for 2004 through 2012

Entries below are in reverse order (latest at the top). Daily, I might stoop to pull a weed or use a hose to water some potted plants; however, I don't consider those significant gardening activities. Thus, you will not see daily entries. Also, I might accumulate a few entries before updating this page on the Web.

When plants have well-known common names, their scientific names are given only the first time they appear on this page (entry closest to the bottom). There, the common name is in bold or appears as a link to another Web page.

Dates refer to other entries in the same year as the entry in which they appear unless a different year is given. Dates without years, however, may refer to entries on prior pages for the same year.

Date and Weather Observations and Activities
16 Aug

Mostly cloudy, some sun, and mild

Temp: 58-83
Humidity: 52
Wind: 0-11

Rain —
This season: 19.29
Days since last: 84

The surviving Artemisia (A. arborescens × absinthium?) cutting (10 Jun) has some roots; but I will not plant it in the ground until October, when the weather will likely remain cool. There is also a surviving lavender (Lavandula lanata × dentata) cutting (also 10 Jun), but I do not yet see any roots.

Spread generous amounts of gypsum in two patches of the front lawn that are quite bare. These are in areas where the pink clover in front was trampled while the exterior of our house was painted a year ago. After the gypsum dissolves and loosens the clay soil, I will use an aerating tool and then fill the holes with the tiny fallen needles from my neighbor's Italian cypresses. I hope this helps restore the pink clover. If this does indeed work, there are other bare patches in the lawn that will require treatment.

6 Aug

Clear, sunny, and hot

The CHE weather station came back on-line today, but quantitative weather data from the off-line period appear permanently lost. Thus, I report only partial weather data.

Temp: ??-86
Humidity: 43%
Wind: ??-12

Finished pruning the rosemary in front. There is one major limb I want to cut, but I am waiting until next year, allowing the foliage on that limb to compensate for the foliage I removed elsewhere on the bush.

Rain —
This season: 19.29
Days since last: 74

5 Aug

Clear, sunny, and hot

The CHE weather station is off-line, so quantitative weather data are not available.

Rain —
This season: 19.29
Days since last: 73

Fed the dwarf citrus and gardenia with ammonium, iron, and zinc sulfates. While working on the citrus, I noticed that leaf miners have attacked all four. I only had enough systemic insecticide for three, so the lemon (Citrus limon 'Eureka') will have to wait until I buy more. That is okay since the lemon is blooming. I will not use the insecticide on the lemon until the current bloom cycle is over so as not to impact bees.

Tested and adjusted the sprinklers in back. The drip emitter for the lemon had to be replaced because some animal — likely a squirrel or rodent seeking water — had chewed a hole in it. I had to trim some of the dwarf Burford holly (Ilex cornuta 'Burfordii Nana') in the rose bed, which was interfering with shrub heads. The very tall shrub head in the west bed (among the dwarf myrtle (Myrtus communis 'Compacta') required cleaning and adjusting. All this was necessary to ensure that the system is effective and efficient in the hot weather we are having.

Noticed that the herbicide that I sprayed on the paths in back (23 Jul) killed most of the weeds except for seedlings from The Tree. It remains possible that the herbicide is merely taking longer to work on those seedlings; it at least seems to have slowed or even stopped their growth.

Resumed pruning the rosemary bush in front (26 Jul).

28 Jul

Clear, sunny, and hot

Temp: 62-96
Humidity: 36%
Wind: 1-13

Rain —
This season: 19.29
Days since last: 65

Fed the roses with ammonium sulfate. Also gave the Alstroemeria a very small dose of the same high-nitrogen fertilizer.

Rain —
This season: 19.29
Days since last: 65

26 Jul

Clear, sunny, and hot

Temp: 62-90
Humidity: 39%
Wind: 0-13

Rain —
This season: 19.29
Days since last: 63

Over the years, I carefully kept a leaf mulch in many of my beds, including the rose bed in front. This mulch keeps the soil cool and most, reducing the amount of water used for irrigation. It also helps to retard weeds. Today, I discovered the leaves around the climbing '4th of July' were missing. Given that the wall behind this rose blocks the wind and that leaves elsewhere were not significantly affected, I suspect the neighbor's landscape contractor was too vigorous in using his noisy leafblower. I restored the mulch from leaves I raked from the edges of my font lawn. Actually, I raked enough that I also added to the mulch where the (Persicaria capitata) is sparse or missing in the lawn.

Trimmed the pink clover (Persicaria capitata) in front along the driveway, public sidewalk, and brick path to the front door.

Started trimming the rosemary bush that grows where my driveway meets the public sidewalk. I want to expose the attractive branches, which are twisted and gnarled. I also need to eliminate growth that is encroaching on the sidewalk.

23 Jul

Clear, sunny, and hot

Temp: 63-96
Humidity: 33%
Wind: 2-13

Rain —
This season: 19.29
Days since last: 60

The rosemary bush (Rosmarinus officinalis) in front is getting good use. Last night, I cut a branch to use in marinating lamb cubes for shish kabab. This morning, my wife needed 1/4 cup of finely chopped rosemary for olive and herb bread.

Trimmed the star jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) on the trellis in order to make it grow more dense. I did not cut it where it is growing as a ground cover adjacent to the trellis.

Picked more grapes (16 Jul). This time, I got both 'Perlette' and 'Black Monukka'. I have a sore foot, so I did not want to climb to the top of My Hill to see if there were any ripe 'Flame'. After I was done outside, I rinsed the grape bunches and removed the unripe clusters from the 'Black Monukka'. Cleopatra devoured them.

Sprayed herbicide on the paths in back. The weeds — spotted spurge (Chamaesyce maculata, aka Euphobia maculata), various grasses, and (of course) seedlings from The Tree — were too small and far too numerous for hand pulling. While I do not expect the grasses and tree seedlings to come back, spotted spurge starts dropping tiny seeds as soon as the weed is large enough to see.

16 Jul

Clear, sunny, and hot

Temp: 66-95
Humidity: 34%
Wind: 4-12

Rain —
This season: 19.29
Days since last: 51

Trimmed the back lawn along the main patio. This included removing some lilies of the Nile (Agapanthus orientalis) that had grown out over the pavement and taken root in decomposing leaves there.

After sweeping the patio, I raked the paths near the east side of the back yard. I could not spray herbicide because the breeze was too strong.

Picked three large bunches of 'Perlette' grapes. They might not be as ripe as possible, but they still taste good. And I got them before the squirrels and raccoons did. The 'Flame' and 'Black Monukka' grapes are definitely not yet ripe.

14 Jul

Clear, sunny, and hot

Temp: 64-98
Humidity: 27%
Wind: 0-12

Rain —
This season: 19.29
Days since last: 49

Fed the dwarf citrus and gardenia (G. jasminoides 'Veitchii')with commercial citrus fertilizer and a small amount of zinc sulfate.

Trimmed the edge of the teardrop bed facing the east bed in back. This completed my trimming of the edges of all the paths. Now I have to trim along the main patio. The paths also need to be raked.

Cleopatra is likely very mad at me. I severely trimmed the asparagus fern (A. densiflorus 'Sprengeri') at the south end of the east bed. She loves to sleep under this plant in the summer.

Weeds are becoming quite dense in the paths in back. While they are easy to remove because of the landscape cloth below the decomposed granite used to pave the paths, there are just too many. It would take me far too long to remove them all. Instead, I will have to use an herbicide when we have a day with no breezes.

12 Jul

Clear, sunny, and hot

Temp: 62-90
Humidity: 31%
Wind: 0-12

We had some serious heat in the past few days. Until today, we had seven consecutive days with temperatures over 95°F with three of them over 100°. Last Saturday (8 Jul), it reachedd 108°F!

Finished trimming the edges of the paths along the back lawn. I still have to trim the edges between the teardrop and east bed and along the main patio.


Rain —
This season: 19.29
Days since last: 47

4 Jul

Clear, sunny, and hot

Temp: 66-96
Humidity: 18%
Wind: 1-14

Rain —
This season: 19.29
Days since last: 39

Bought more commercial rose fertilizer with systemic insecticide and fed the roses in front. While the instructions indicate to apply this fertilizer every six weeks, I use it only once every two months. In the intervening months, I use ammonium sulfate. The results are quite good.

When I poured fertilizer with systemic insecticide into the vertical irrigation pipes bracketing the zelkova tree (2 Jun), I checked and found the pipes to be dry even at the bottom. This surprised me since the sprinkler system that feeds the drip irrigation emitters in those pipes ran that morning. I did a test today. With the sprinklers running, the emitters were putting out water; and the pipes were about half full. I do not know if the water in the pipes was from my running a hose into them two days ago or if it was from the sprinkler system. I will wait a few cycles of irrigation and then check the pipes again. I recently increased the timing for the sprinklers to 15 minutes, running once every three days.

2 Jul

Clear, sunny, and hot

Temp: 57-85
Humidity: 46%
Wind: 3-12

Rain —
This season: 19.29
Days since last: 37

A few days ago, I trimmed the fern pines (some kind of Podocarpus) that are against the front of the house. One of them was interfering with the overhead garage door.

Today, I trimmed the eugenia (Syzygium paniculatum) that are also against the front of the house. They were too tall and one — much like one of the fern pines — interfered with the overhead garage door.

Fed the roses in back with a commercial fertilizer that contains a systemic insecticide. Because of repeated news articles in the Los Angeles Times about beetles, borers, and other insect pests damanging and even killing trees in southern California, I poured some of that fertilizer into the vertical irrigation pipes on either side of the Japanese zelkova (Z. serrata) in the parkway in front, after which I filled the pipes with water from a hose. That left me without sufficient fertilizer for the roses in front; I will buy some more this coming week.

Finished pruning the dwarf myrtle (Myrtus communis 'Compacta', 25 Jun).

Weather data are from the Cheeseboro (CHE) weather station, about 2 miles ENE of my house.

The high temperature (°F) is daytime for the indicated date; the low temperature (°F) is for the previous night.

Winter chill is the cumulative hours of temperatures at or below 45°F from 1 November through 31 March. It is reported during that period and through April.

The relative humidity is at noon. (In my garden, it is likely higher than reported, a result of regular irrigation.)

Wind speeds (mph) are average (not peak) low and high, midnight to midnight (subject to later correction for diary entries posted before the end of the day). I also indicate peak wind gusts parenthetically when they are significantly high.

Rain is in inches. Season is the cumulative amount of rainfall from 1 October until 30 September of the following year (our "rain-year"). Week is the cumulative amount of measurable rainfall from noon seven days ago until noon of the indicated date. If no measurable rain fell in that period, Days since last is reported.

Characterization of the weather (e.g., Clear, sunny, and warm) is purely subjective; for example, "warm" might occur with higher temperatures than "hot" if the former occurs with lower humidity and more breezes than the latter. Also, a day that would normally be characterized as "mild" might instead be "warm" if the immediately previous days were quite cold. Finally, such characterization reflects when I was actually outside and gardening and ignores changes that occur while I am inside.

The signature line I use when writing messages about my garden includes the following:

Climate: California Mediterranean
Sunset Zone: 21 -- interior Santa Monica Mountains with some ocean influence (USDA 10a, very close to Sunset Zone 19)
See also My Climate.
May-June 2017
March-April 2017
January-February 2017
November-December 2016
September-October 2016
July-August 2016
May-June 2016
March-April 2016
January-February 2016
November-December 2015
September-October 2015
July-August 2015
May-June 2015
March-April 2015
January-February 2015
November-December 2014
September-October 2014
July-August 2014
May-June 2014
March-April 2014
January-February 2014
November-December 2013
September-October 2013
July-August 2013
May-June 2013
March-April 2013
January-February 2013

Diary entries for 2004 through 2012


Valid HTML 4.01